Saturday, June 18, 2011

Business Growth Promoted Through Consumer Conversations

A lot of companies today have realized that their brand is an important thing to protect. They’ve developed SEO strategies to push their names higher on Google and Bing searches. Executives have come to realize they need to monitor and respond to the conversations taking place on line about their products. Some businesses have even taken to scrutinize the discussions taking place about their key employees.

But the one thing most firms have neglected to include in their social programs is perhaps the most important capability: sales lead generation.

Yes, social media programs can actually be tailored to produce high quality, readily available sales leads. The key questions here is “How could you possibly get real revenue producing leads from social media?”

Simple. A high quality social intelligence program goes much further than keeping an eye on Facebook and Twitter for people talking about your company. The provider will “listen” for the conversations taking place across all sources, including among others personal & business blogs, news media, consumer boards, and traditional ad campaigns. The key component of the program requires real human interaction at this point to streamline the conversations into useful data. Without the human factor, the program will produce so many “hits” that the information becomes muddled. An expert analyst will filter through the conversations and aggregate the relative discussions to present to your staff.

A key information topic many companies neglect is to follow their competition. By following your competitors closely, you'll be able to respond to new ads and products, react to changes in the market, and most importantly, find out who your competitors’ customers are. By following a competitor’s brand, you can listen for consumer sentiment on their offerings. Opportunity often develops when a consumer has been disappointed in their expectations for some reason.

As an example of what I’m referring to here, if a person is complaining on Facebook about their Kia (nothing personal here folks at Kia, just an example; it could be easily switched around the other way) being in the shop all the time, it would be a great time for a Chevrolet dealer to send some information to the consumer. Maybe a friendly post on their wall or a quick “tweet” on an upcoming sales event could generate a new customer.

By finding out your competitor is holding an event like a webinar or luncheon with a keynote speaker, it gives your marketing staff a chance to monitor the program and respond accordingly. If you look deep enough, it may even be possible to find an attendee list or program agenda. 

Acquiring new business and keeping satisfied clients are the long term keys to any successful business plan. We have emerged today into an information rich society with millions of people talking and tweeting and posting on a daily basis. It is imperative business don’t ignore the conversations and they must react accordingly. The only way you can react accordingly is to know what is being said.

I ‘d enjoy hearing how all of you are handling your on-line listening and what types of programs you’ve put in place to respond to what you’re hearing.

If you want some direction on launching your listening and reacting program, please contact me directly on Twitter @DaveHanron or via email at Dave@socialstrategy1.com

3 comments:

  1. There are a lot of things that you can do to promote your business online. SEO and Social media are the most common strategies used. They can really help your business in a lot of ways.

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  2. Thanks for your comment Willliam.

    The new efforts being seen through social media and SEO campaigns are really starting to show results. Mobile marketing via sites like Facebook and Yelp are also developing and producing some great results. I think we are on the cutting edge of some great new advertising tools.

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  3. Social media is indeed a great way to increase your business' online presence and popularity. With this marketing strategy, you have better chances of gaining more clients and customers.

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